Ham Lake

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Ham Lake is a six-mile-by-six-mile township as prescribed in the Northwest Territories Act of 1787. One of the area's major lakes looks exactly like a slice of ham, with an island as the ham bone, thus the name. In 1856, a town named Glen Carey, Scottish for "Beautiful Valley," was formed southwest of the lake. Seven or eight homes were built, but a prairie fire burned them out. In 1866, Mads Gilbertson, a native of Norway, was the first permanent settler; other Scandinavians followed. Early settlers found the soil well suited for farming and developed churches, schools, and commercial centers. Farmers raised pigs, turkeys, cattle, and horses, along with corn, wheat, potatoes, and other vegetables and fruit. Ham Lake became the sod-producing capital of Minnesota. Eventually, the town subdivided those farms and grew housing developmentsā€”the most profitable crop yet.
ISBN: 9781467114035
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Minnesota
Series: Images of America
Images: 176
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Melvin Aanerud is a Ham Lake Chamber of Commerce board member, a retired federal government employee, and an amateur historian who has given historical presentations and tours. He has been the chair of the City of Ham Lake Park and Tree Commission for over 25 years and is a member of the Anoka County Historical Society.
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